In prevention, we frequently reflect on the Maya Angelou quote, “When you know better, you do better.” This phrase is meant to dispel shame and inspire humility in families and organizations. Self-reflection is essential to identifying moments to improve, all while having compassion for ourselves and others when we learn our previous methods weren’t working.
This newsletter will highlight moments of courageous reflection from one of our valuable partners. Quinci Castleberry of Yavapai County is instrumental in implementing the Infant Toddler Court Team, Best for Babies, and the Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. After reading the August Director’s Corner, “To Force is to Break,” she reflected:
“When I first started with the CASA office so many years ago, I had such a black-and-white view of dependency parents, ranging from anger to disgust. Over the years, through many trainings and interactions with these parents, my heart softened, and I began looking at them differently. I am happy to say I am a different person now than I was when I first started working for the courts. Don’t get me wrong, I treated people kindly and respectfully back then, but I didn’t fully understand how to look at these cases from the parent’s perspective. I feel that I do now, and isn’t that what’s important? When you know better, you do better.
“I’ll never forget when I first heard Meghan Hays Davis, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona Program & Training Director, use the term ‘connection before correction.’ A lightbulb went on. This isn’t just for interaction with babies; it’s for everyone we encounter! We cannot browbeat parents into participating in services. We need to make a connection with them and build trust. Then, maybe we can gently guide them to make better choices for themselves and their children. It is not easy, and it will not happen quickly. Plus, it takes a lot more time and work than many of us feel we have, but we must try.”
Meghan (left) and Quinci (right) continue to work together towards the unique needs of infants and toddlers through Yavapai County’s Best for Babies program.
If you’d like to share a lightbulb moment that changed how you serve families, please email email@example.com.